by D Sohi
Holiday season is upon us. Summer 2018 in the UK, in particular, is a scorcher (now people can’t say it’s always raining here!). WhenI discuss holidays with friends and colleagues, I frequently return to one nagging memory – or several. I recall a trip to Italy, September 2013. The fact that I’m still listening to Italian songs and reading Italian books clearly should demonstrate my affection towards the country. There were, however, some incidences that refuse to leave my memory. The intersection of race, mother tongue and nationality snatched my attention more than I wanted it to.
by Synequeen Alasa-as
The four books of Dominic Anton's "Water" delve into the deep layers of human connection, spirituality, and the true inner-self. Anton deftly illustrates the meanings to which we live, survive, and exist. With every turning page, there is something for the lonely, and the lost, with trials merging in resilience, triumph, and fulfillment. His words carve experiences that range from themes of early childhood and parental guidance, to young adulthood and decision-making, as well as the claiming of an identity. He explores the personal with the historical, and contemporary context of the political injustices carried out in the Middle East.
by Srishti Uppal and Paridhi Puri
A persistent paradox places itself on the forefront of our mind, when we think about our world. While we see all people as equal entities, as they speak about human rights and liberty, we also see the inclination of individuals towards hatred, discord and resentment. Perhaps, the most notorious instance of the spread of malevolence reminds us of the rampant use of the fatal Bioterrorism.
Sydney is home for me. With my brother living there, it is a place I go often. It also happens to be one of the cities I have had the chance to discover on my own. Devoid of the standard recommendations for tourists, I make it a point to try something new in my every trip. On my last trip I was fascinated by the concept of “walks” that Australian tourism boasted of: nature walks, beach walks, historic walks...the list was fascinating. Within seconds, the bibliophile in me thought, how about a literary walk? Surely enough, the answer was a loud yes. A little lesser known than the other walks, Sydney’s "writer’s walk" is a visual treat for any bookworm.
by D Sohi
After repeated announcements of intent to visit the UK, Donald Trump, contentious President of the United States, finally fulfilled his promise. Every announcement of intent to visit was immediately met with a backlash; one example being the petition to prevent an official welcome. The counter-argument was that he was a democratically-elected head of state, thus couldn’t have his entry blocked. The furore surrounding his election is another discussion altogether. The petition’s purpose was to vocalise disgust for how he would be afforded special treatment despite his divisive politics and questionable support networks. The possibility that the petition’s message would be panned always existed in our minds, it was merely a case of principle.
by Emaan Mujahid
I was taught to live in fear—fear of the world that lay beyond the four walls of my house. But this is not just my story—this is the story of countless women residing in Pakistan—the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females. With a soaring rate of violence against women, in 2016 the most populous of our provinces, Punjab, saw a 17% rise in rape cases and a 28% increase in honour killings, according to the Punjab gender parity report 2017. The report also stated that out of the abduction cases reported, 76% were were those of women, thus making kidnapping the most recurring crime against females in Punjab. It grieves me to say that these perturbing statistics are just one example among, the many vices females are faced with in our society.
Review by Namrata, Interview by Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
Author Chaya Bhuvaneswar was generous enough to not only give The Brown Orient the opportunity to read and review her debut collection, White Dancing Elephants, but also the chance to speak with her about the process of finishing this wonderful set of short stories, and her writing in general.
by Tara Ashraf
What’s an in-between? An in-between struggles to define herself because others always want to do it for her. It’s someone whose parents tell him he acts nothing like the people back home. Or it’s a person who can’t identify their gender, adding even more confusion to their question of where they fit.
by Namrata and Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
There is always power in raw storytelling, when the voice of truth remains audible in the world of fiction. We got to review such novel, A New Dawn, and chatted with the brilliant mind behind the work of art, Sudha Balagopal.
by D Sohi
Naming can be a spiritual journey. You discover more about yourself. You take your newborn child’s personality into account during the selection. (“Do they look like an Aaron or a Luke?”) For those belonging to the diaspora, naming is a way to continue the link to their ancestry. For my family, it was non-negotiable that I would be given a traditional name despite being born in the UK.
by Mehk Chakraborty
An unabashed feminist who is making an impact in the lives of underprivileged children and women, Fatimah Ali is among the young change makers is Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Kashmir’s visible and documented conflict that has lasted over three decades now, escalated in the past two years, has also seen a rise in armed resistance and militancy particularly among the youth. Several reports of human rights violations, disappearances of youth and civilian casualties are among some of the visible consequences of this long drawn conflict.
by D Sohi
On the 25th May 2018, Irish citizens, both at home and coming in from abroad, embarked on their journeys to voting centres amid a buzz akin to the UK’s EU Referendum and Scotland’s Independence Referendum. Abortion had become a fiercely-contested option in this religious country for decades; for this referendum, wherever there was a group of ‘Yes’ campaigners, ‘No’ lobbyists were never too far away. Although the issue of abortion in Ireland had been brewing for years, one woman – an outsider – transformed the argument over faith, morality and women’s rights.
Sometimes on lonely nights, I wonder.
In Sanskirt, there is a saying that goes "Yatra nariyastu pujayante, ramante tatara devta; yatraitastu na pujayate sarvastratraphalah kriyah." This loosely translates to “Gods reside where women are worshipped and respected, where they are not, all actions are fruitless.” Does this explain the absence of prosperity in the country?
India is the largest democracy of the world claiming to have diversity in religion. However, caste and religion are the very factors that play a huge role in the romantic lives of people living here.
Take the case of 28-year-old Samika* from Mumbai. In an interview with her, she narrates her experiences:
by Mehk Chakraborty
Gulshan Books by the Dal Lake is an experience of its own. Arriving by a shikhara, the wooden boats used by Kashmiris, on ghat 11 of the Dal Lake feels like an adventure in itself. A slow, scenic route through the waters with a bookstore in the distance is certainly the way to make an entrance here. The store cum library, located next to Srinagar’s popular Nehru Park also offers a short ferry ride to and from ghat 11, but taking a longer route by the Dal lake is something you won’t regret.